Reckless Love

I was about 30 seconds away from pushing the confirm button to buy a ticket to travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Friday. My sermon message series these last couple weeks is about “Reckless Love.” This is the name of the song we are singing during worship which talks about Jesus leaving the 99 to rescue the one. Part of our teaching on the reckless love of Jesus is understanding that God is not reckless. We are specifically talking about His love, in action, being reckless. For those who were not at church on Sunday, we’re expanding on the word “reckless,” meaning a person gives no thought or consideration to one’s own safety, comforts or concerns. I spoke about heroes we have read about, or even personally know, and the reports of their great acts of love. These great acts of love would, by some, be considered reckless. Such as a fireman, with no safety equipment, who races into a building to rescue children from impending peril or a by-standard who jumps into freezing water to rescue a woman who has fallen in due to a plane crash. The last story may sound far-fetched, but it really happened in Washington, DC, about 35 years ago. A brave man named Larry Skutnik displayed reckless love, he even said he didn’t give thought to anything, he just knew he had to save her. The woman he rescued was only seconds away from dying, as she had been clinging to life for over 30 minutes in the Potomac River. You are still probably wondering why I was going to fly to Philadelphia earlier this week? The reason was reckless love, and I wish I would have done it. Yet I’ve learned a very valuable lesson from even weighing the decision to go to Pennsylvania. My motivating factor was a middle-aged Catholic woman, who was being harassed by a Pennsylvania senator named Brian Sims. You can see the video of him harassing this women on the Internet. Just google his name and multiple results will be available. When I watched the nine minute video of a state senator harassing this woman who was praying privately across the street from a Planned Parenthood facility, I realized I had to do something. Jesus often talked about how we, as sheep, were without a shepherd, “harassed and helpless.” That is exactly how I felt toward this innocent woman whom I don’t even know, but felt motivated to go to Philadelphia and pray with hundreds of other pro-lifers on Friday. I hope more than a thousand people will show up and pray; I’ll be watching the video stream. We need to support her and all others who come to that street corner to pray, believing women will make the right decision concerning the baby in their womb. This is just one example of reckless love. I want to be able to look back at my life and share moments where I didn’t consider the outcome, my own comfort, my own cares, when I just did what I knew was right. If you’re wondering why I didn’t purchase a ticket, I was unable to get a flight which would get me back in a timely manner. My emotions were all over the place on Tuesday and Wednesday as I listened to Brian Sims spend almost 9 minutes shaming this woman. The emotions which came to the surface, even in your own pastor’s life, are in some aspects inappropriate. One of my first reactions was that I would like to go and just pound this guy into the ground. Secondly, I could harass him; shame him like he did to her. I quickly realized my own sin nature still needs to be submitted to the Lord. Thankfully, sorrow and regret for this confused human, who is deceived by the enemy, brought about the right response. I asked God to help him, to open his eyes, to save him! And that is truly reckless love. If the opportunity to go to Philadelphia had happened, I would have prayed for him, spoke some kind of affirming words to him. I would never support his behavior. But I would have seen him as Jesus did, leaving the 99 to go after Brian Sims, the one.

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